Around the first or second week of the school year Melissa (in one of her rare sharing moods) started describing one of her chamber choir songs. She went on and on about the dynamics, the harmony, etc. etc. and I was kinda hearing, "blah, blah, blah, (I really do need to expand my taste in music horizons) Right at Melissa's favorite line in the song one of her alto friends looked over at her and said, "Can I hold your hand? cuz I love this part?"
Every teen needs to belong to something/and or someone that makes their heart beat faster. Something that, even though it's pleasurable, teaches you about life right in the midst of your fun. Something to point to. It might be a sports team. It could be a boyfriend. A teacher. Befriending an outcast. A week away at camp. A trip to the dome. It could be as simple as a movie or as ostentatious as a shining moment on stage. It could be writing or just reading a good book. Maybe it's travel or adventure. While for some it could just be sitting at the edge of the water and painting the horizon. I do believe that the two programs that have filled the "I-need-something-to-belong-to-void" in our family have been Springhill Camps and the MSHS choir program. And I hate to use the word "program" at all because it doesn't really have so much to do with the "program" as it does with the people in the program. Let me speak, in my geeky mom tradition, of the choir program. I will even blatantly plagiarize lines from some of the POP songs to reiterate the lessons that I hope have already been learned.
I thought we all were, the children of God.
When it hasn't been your day, or month, or even your year...I'll be there for you.
I thank you for the music.
Wait! There's no mountain too great, hear the words and have faith.
Quickly, flow the years.
We're all just friends....sharing one wonderful, one short day.
I'll spread my wings and I'll learn how to fly.
Live your story.
Hold to the truth in your heart.
Souls in the wind must learn how to bend.
Dreams see us through to forever.
It's time to trust my instincts.
Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.
I can't hardly think about the fact that we are closing the door on this chapter. To hold back the flood of emotions and keep me from embarrassing myself beyond repair, let me just mention a few of the people and images that will always be on standby in my VCR memory bank.
The Choir Staff: You might not know it, but the the fire was lit back in August of 1997, when Jennifer came home from her first week in high school and announced, "I love choir, we're singing Christmas music already." Somehow you start out with these kids as "just" a teacher. And then you worm their way into their hearts and become almost like family. And not unlike the mother bird, you push them off into the world musically wiser, and emotionally richer, only to welcome them back as alumni and friend. Thank you does not seem like enough.
The Choir Friends: There is a wealth of emotions, attitude, pride, passion, humor, sentiment, opinion, and views that you have brought to the table. From "Ding, ding, ding went the trolley" until the final chord of last night's closer, whenever Melissa has been with "choir friends" I've never REALLY worried about her. Very concerned on a few occasions, but nothing that kept me awake past 4 or 5am. Thank you does not seem like enough.
Pre & Post Friends: I don't have to mention any names here do I Meg? I know you have much loftier goals in life than just making it into a "speciality act". And truthfully, I don't need anyone or anything to define the special act you are and have been in our lives. I think there have been times in Melissa's life when she would have literally curled up and died a little emotional death, if she hadn't had you to confide in. When I looked up and saw you sitting tall, proud, and dry-eyed, waiting for you name to be called, I could not hold back the flood of tears. Your heart is about as big as your belly was in the opener. Your tenacity, humor, and caring spirit will take you far. Let it. I left out some lyrics earlier in this post because I can't find any other words to describe what you have meant to Melissa. And some times when I speak for her I get in a ton of trouble, but she can bite me.
"It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you
You'll be with me
Like a hand-print on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have re-written mine
By being my friend."
Thank you does not seem like enough
Parent Friends: All I can say here is that we must have been sisters in another life. We share a lot of the same values about meddling, neurotic behavior, house cleaning strategies, and so forth. And yet we have our differences, ie: pets, curfews, and alarm clock usage. I just want you to know that it does not take alcohol to make our few hours on friday nights happy.
You walk your talk when it comes to demonstrating personality traits we strive to teach our children; acceptance, respect, humor, and an unbelievable non-judgmental attitude. Sometimes I get jealous of Meg and Melissa, because they became best friends long before we figured it out. Who would ever think that you don't dance and Howard doesn't rock and roll? When evening rolls around and it's time to hit the town, where do you go? Why, down the street....of course! And let me just close by using up my last set of lyrics from the show: You ain't never had a friend, never had a friend, never had a friend like Kate. Thank you does not seem like enough.
Even though Melissa seems to have already closed the door on this chapter in her life, I'm reluctantly starting to take the lid off of my firefly jar. It just doesn't seem time to say good-bye. Would somebody hold my hand? I don't like this part.